Weekly Roundup – awards, sales, premieres

Highlights include wins for SongbirdSOS (pictured), Brooks - The City of 100 Hellos, and Stargate Universe, a Locarno world premiere for Tower and sales for Cineflix.

Here is a summary of various industry news bits to come Playback’s way recently.


SongbirdSOS, from Toronto-based indie SongbirdSOS Productions Inc. (pictured), won the pitch competition in the Best International Programming Showcase feature doc category at the Sunny Side of the Doc in La Rochelle, France this week, nabbing a 2000 euro prize.

The feature-length doc and web-based multimedia project (the later produced with media agency Digital Fin) explores why songbirds around the world are disappearing in record numbers, and what it may mean for the future of the sub-species.

Director Su Rynard pitched the in-development project, which is supported by the NFB/CFC Documentary Development Program, to a commissioning editors and participants at the annual European event for docmakers.

SongbirdSOS Productions was formed by producer-directors Rynard, Joanne Jackson and Diane Woods.

Kinosmith is the film’s Canadian distributor.

Meanwhile, Canada- U.S. sci-fi series Stargate Universe was a big winner at the Constellation Awards, presented last week in Toronto and hosted by Canadian actor Robin Dunne (Sanctuary).

The Vancouver-filmed series, which aired on Space in Canada and Syfy stateside, grabbed awards for best sci-fi TV series of 2011, best overall 2011 sci-fi film or TV script (for “Twin Destinies” ep), best female performance in a sci-fi TV episode (Ming-Na in Stargate Universe – Epilogue), and best technical accomplishment in a 2011 sci-fi film or TV series (Joel Goldsmith for the series’ music), and for outstanding Canadian contribution to science fiction film or TV in 2011.

Dunne also won an award for best male performance in a 2011 sci-fi TV episode, for Sanctuary ep “Fugue.”

Elsewhere, feature doc Brooks – The City of 100 Hellos, from Edmonton’s Brandy Yanchyk of Brandy Y Productions, won best educational film at the Alaska International Film Awards, a newcomer award of excellence at the International Film Festivals for Peace, Inspiration and Equality in Jakarta, Indonesia, and last month, a 2012 Golden Palm Award in the documentary film competition at The Mexico International Film Festival.


Tower, the debut feature from Toronto-based Medium Density Fibreboard Films, will have its world bow next month at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, announced Thursday.

The film, from director Kazik Radwanski and producer Dan Montgomery, is one of 15 films selected in the Filmmakers of the Present competition.

“This is a very Toronto-centric story, and to have the opportunity to share it with an international audience in Locarno means quite a lot,” said Radwanski in a statement.

The Locarno Film Festival runs Aug. 1 to 11 in Switzerland.


Cineflix Rights has signed deals with Central and Eastern European broadcasters for more than 400 hours of programming, including the reality series Conviction Kitchen among other titles.

CET21 in the Czech Republic has acquired Mayday: Air Disaster, Cold Blood, and Huge Moves, while in Hungary, Chello Central Europe signed deals for a large number of property and lifestyle programs, including Property Brothers, Buying and Selling, My House Your Money, Conviction Kitchen, The Unsellables, Cold Blood, Dinner Party Wars and Family Food Challenge.

In Poland, TVN bought Massive Moves, Final 24 and Zoo Tales: Birth of a Baby Elephant, while Discovery Poland has bought titles including Cold Blood, My Teenage Weddings and Ten Days to Victory.

Additionally, Zonemedia Europe has picked up such titles as A Gypsy Life for Me, Border Security and Medical Emergency, while Astana TV Kazakhstan has bought In-Law Wedding Wars and CME Romania has purchased Mayday: Air Disaster.

(Cineflix details from a Realscreen story by Kelly Anderson)

Recently announced

Showcase unveiled its fall schedule Thursday, with premiere dates set for new period cop drama Copper, and TV adaptation of World Without End.

Copper will bow on the Shaw Media channel on Sunday, Aug. 26 at 9 p.m.

Kristin Kreuk-starring Beauty and the Beast, booked into Cinespace’s Kipling Studio in Toronto for August through to Christmas, will premiere Thursday, Oct. 11 at 9 p.m.

World Without End, starring Cynthia Nixon, Tom Weston-Jones (Copper), Miranda Richardson, Carlo Rota and Sarah Gadon (Cosmopolis) will premiere Tuesday,. Sept. 4 at 10 p.m.

Returning to the primetime schedule are Haven, with its third season premiere on Friday, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m., and Piper Perabo-starring Covert Affairs on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 10 p.m., also for its third season.

Elsewhere, OLN original series The Beat, following the Vancouver Police Department’s Beat Enforcement Team, returns for 10 new episodes on July 29 at 10 p.m.

*All times E.T.